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August blooms: Wildflowers prolific throughout the region this time of year

The Turk's Cap is one of the most colorful and spectacular of the lily family.

While it lends color to the countryside, Spotted Knapweed, pictured above, is often considered an invasive and pesky plant, particularly when it shows up in a pasture.

Live Forever is a member of the sedum family, and derives its name from an ability to regenerate from the smallest fragment.

In recent decades purple loosestrife has inundated our wetlands.

Though highly colorful, loosestrife is also considered an invasive species that has taken over entire tracts of wetland, in the process crowding out more beneficial species.

Black-eyed Susans and Joe Pye weed along the bank of Tonawanda Creek.

As the legend goes, Joe Pye weed got its name from a legendary healer of the same name who lived up New England way in the 17th Century and used this colorful wildflower in the treatment of fevers.

Staghorn sumac seems to like the climate here in Western New York. 

Not to be confused with poison sumac, the drupes of staghorn sumac are utilized by man and nature alike. High in vitamin C, the drupes make a tasty tea or "sumacade." From mid to late July through early August is a good time to collect the drupes, soaking them in room temperature water for an hour or two before straining.

Here's a closeup of the drupe.....from December thru March, as available food sources are dwindling, wintering songbirds will utilize the drupes.

Mardell Lamb
Mardell Lamb's picture
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Joined: Apr 22 2009

Jim!
Such beautiful pictures this morning. Thank you for brightening my day. Always so informative. Purple Loosestrife is very pretty to look at (& see a lot of it around), but never knew the name. And yes, I've seen plenty of Blue Jays on the Sumac.

Once when I was a little girl, I was out riding my bike on the back roads. (Only about 10 yrs. old or so...yes, alone ~ but that was back in the day, we did those things.) I saw the "drupes" from a sumac and thought they were so beautiful that I HAD to bring one home for my mother. It was hard to break off (as I was standing on my banana seat.) Much to my dismay, my dear mother was not so enthused with my present. She proclaimed it was poison and to throw it away and come in & wash my hands immediately. LOL

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